How to create a sympathy card

Honor a loved one’s life and express your support with a heartfelt online sympathy card.

Create a virtual condolence card

Send a message of love and support to someone you care about. Our beautiful templates help you share your thoughts and prayers in personal bereavement cards. For anyone who has lost a loved one, whether a grandparent, friend, fallen soldier, beloved pet or someone else, Smilebox condolence cards are a meaningful way to honor their legacy.

Choose a condolence card template

Make a caring sympathy card

How to create a sympathy card

How to create a sympathy card

How to create a sympathy card

How to create a sympathy card

How to create a sympathy card

How to create a sympathy card

How to create a sympathy card

How to create a sympathy card

Give them strength with a bereavement card

Writing bereavement cards can be an emotional process. To help make a hard time a little easier, we offer a collection of ready-to-customize “sorry for your loss” cards.

Simply choose a card template that feels right, use our words or your own, add a photo if you wish, and share it with the family.

How to create a sympathy card online:

Choose a sympathy card template

Browse our offering of free online bereavement templates. Pick one you like, and click “Personalize”.

Add photos, if desired

If you would like to include a photo in your sympathy card, you may easily upload images from your phone, computer, Facebook or Instagram. You may also choose existing photos in your Smilebox gallery.

Include a personal touch

Write a heartfelt message expressing your condolences over their loss. You can customize the colors, background and music as well. Choose a song from our music library, or upload your own.

Share it

Click “Preview and Share” to make sure your condolences card looks perfect. Then easily share it with loved ones over email, social media, text message and more. You can also print it to mail them or give in person.

Sympathy cards for pets

The death of a dog, cat or other beloved pet can be devastating to their owner. Show that you’re thinking about them with a heartfelt condolence card for pets. Make it extra special with a photo of their furry friend, a favorite memory, or nostalgic anecdote about the animal.

Add the right message to your condolences card

Finding the right words to write in a sympathy message can be a challenge. You can go with something generic like “May he/she rest in peace”, or a religious phrase like “I pray that God comforts you during this time of loss.” If you were close to the person who passed, you can share favorite memories or thoughts about them. You can also include practical information such as whether you’ll be attending the funeral, memorial, or coming to visit them another time. What’s important is simply letting them know they are in your thoughts, and you are there for them.

How to create a sympathy card

Simple and fast

Add photos, captions, colors and animations with ease.

How to create a sympathy card

All your photos are safely stored and backed up.

How to create a sympathy card

Choose from our vast collection of tunes, or upload your own songs.

How to create a sympathy card

Brand your creation with your logo and info to boost business.

This site uses cookies to provide you with the best user experience. By using Smilebox, you consent to our use of cookies. Learn More

Cookies enable us to identify your device. We set temporary (known as session cookies) and permanent (known as persistent cookies) cookies for a number of reasons, including to enhance the functionality of our website and application by storing your preferences and personalizing your experience. We also set cookies to provide us with analytical information to improve the performance of our website and applications to provide you with a better user experience.

We don’t sell the information collected by cookies, nor do we disclose the information to third parties, except as set forth in our Privacy Policy. In our Privacy Policy, we explain in more detail how we and third parties set cookies from our website and application and for what purpose.

If you wish to control what cookies are set on your device through our website, please read the description below about cookies.

Web browser cookies

If you don’t want to receive cookies, you can modify your browser so that it notifies you when cookies are sent to it or you can refuse cookies altogether. You can also delete cookies that have already been set.

If you wish to restrict or block web browser cookies which are set on your device then you can do this through your browser settings; the Help function within your browser should tell you how. Alternatively, you may wish to visit, which contains comprehensive information on how to do this on a wide variety of desktop browsers.

Our website and application does work without cookies, but you will lose some features and functionality if you choose to disable cookies.

Do Not Track (DNT) browser setting

DNT is a feature offered by some browsers which, when enabled, sends a signal to websites to request that your browsing is not tracked, such as by third party ad networks, social networks and analytic companies. We currently do not respond to DNT requests, however, you may opt-out of tracking on our website by deleting your web browser cookies.

How to create a sympathy card

Stacy Fisher is an expert on crafting, sewing, and frugal finds, sharing her knowledge of hands-on DIY creations, finding freebies, and budgeting. Stacy was a guest on “The Dr. Oz Show” and featured in Woman’s World Magazine. She has nearly two decades of writing and editing experience.

How to create a sympathy card

These free, printable sympathy cards will help you show how much you care for that person who has lost someone special to them. Many of these free, printable sympathy cards can be customized so you can add your own personal message.

It can be difficult to put into words that express your sympathy when writing inside these cards. Here are some tips on what to write in a sympathy card as well as some comforting Bible verses.

These free, printable sympathy cards look best when printed on card stock but can also be printed on regular computer paper. Be sure to follow each sites directions on how best to print and customize these free, printable cards.

After you’ve printed a sympathy card, use one of these free envelope templates to place the card in so you can mail it or hand deliver it. You can also find more free, printable greeting cards for many other occasions.

Four Sympathy Cards for Plant Lovers

” data-caption=”” data-expand=”300″ data-tracking-container=”true” />

Garden Therapy has designed this set of four sympathy cards that are made especially for plant lovers and pun lovers. They say “Bee Well My Friend, “Just a Note to Say Aloe,” “I Hope Thistle Cheer You Up,” and “Being Sick Succs.”

You can print these cards out and use them as is or follow the tutorial on how to attach them to blank cards.

Treasured Memories

” data-caption=”” data-expand=”300″ data-tracking-container=”true” />

This printable sympathy card from Greetings Island has a yellow background with a beautiful bouquet of watercolor flowers on it.

The cover text says “Thanking of You With Sincere Sympathy” and the inside of the cards says “May treasured memories bring you comfort and ease for your lose.”

This card prints out 5″ x 5″ and can be customized with your name before or after printing.

Friends Are Here

” data-caption=”” data-expand=”300″ data-tracking-container=”true” />

This is a beautiful card that has the words “With Love & Sympathy” on the front surrounded by flowers and birds.

The inside of the card says “May the comfort of friends who share your sorrow help you through this difficult time.” with plenty of room to sign your name and add an additional message if you’d like.

This free sympathy card prints out 5″ x 5″ and has 10 layouts you can choose from for the inside of the card.

Condolences Flowers

” data-caption=”” data-expand=”300″ data-tracking-container=”true” />

A beautiful bouquet of yellow roses and white flowers adorn the cover of this condolences card with the inside left blank for your own custom message.

This card can even be customized with 7 different inside layouts and has the options for added photos and stickers.

With Sympathy

” data-caption=”” data-expand=”300″ data-tracking-container=”true” />

You can customize and print this simple sympathy card for free over at Greetings Island. The front of the card says “With sympathy” and the inside is left blank so you can add your personal message before or after printing.

The finished card prints out 5″ x 7″ and is ready to be placed in an envelope after printing.

With You

” data-caption=”” data-expand=”300″ data-tracking-container=”true” />

The cover of this sympathy card from Got Free Cards says “Our Thoughts and Prayers are with you. ” and shows a loving bird carrying a flower.

The inside of the card is left blank so you can add your own message before printing.

There’s also the option of adding stickers and photos to the card which is a nice touch.

Deepest Sympathy

” data-caption=”” data-expand=”300″ data-tracking-container=”true” />

Got Free Cards also offers this free, printable sympathy card that uses a drawing of a tree and its roots to show your deepest sympathy for the recipient.

The outside of the card says “Deepest sympathy” and the inside is left blank for you. You have the choice of printing the card one-sided or front and back.

Sympathy Card for a Pet

” data-caption=”” data-expand=”300″ data-tracking-container=”true” />

Losing a pet can be difficult and a card from a friend can let the person know that their pain is valid and recognized.

This sympathy card says “It always hurts to lose a pet you have loved. ” with the inside blank so you can express your sympathy in your own words.

This card features a picture of a dog but there is also a ​sympathy card for someone who has lost a cat.

Thinking of You

” data-caption=”” data-expand=”300″ data-tracking-container=”true” />

This is a cute thinking of you card that you can download and print or share via link or social media post. There’s a lot of options here! This card has a yellow background with green leaves and vines. It says “thinking of you, I hope you feel surrounded by much love.” The message text as well as things like the text color and font size can easily be changed before sending. It also would be really easy to add the recipient’s name to the card.

How to create a sympathy card

How to create a sympathy card

During times of loss, a message of support and comfort can mean a lot to people. This point is especially true in business. If someone within your company, such as a colleague or employee, loses a loved one, you want to find a way to express your condolences with a sympathy card from your business. Likewise, if a client or customer experiences a loss, you want to send a meaningful message as well.

Knowing how to send a sympathy card from a business poses a challenge for many people. Striking the right balance between professionalism and authentic support can seem challenging, but we’re here to help you craft the appropriate message when you need to express your sympathies.

Why Is Sending Business Sympathy Cards Important?

Your business is like a family. You’ve spent time cultivating strong bonds with your employees and your clients. When someone experiences a significant life event, you want to adequately and appropriately mark the occasion. A personalized card always offers a meaningful, authentic gesture that shows you care.

When a customer or employee’s loved one passes away, businesses often struggle with finding the right words. This feeling is natural. Sympathy cards present a challenge even when you’re writing to a close relative or friend. It’s hard to know precisely the right words to say in any sympathy card, including corporate sympathy cards.

When you send a sympathy card from your business, you want to make sure your communication stays professional. At the same time, you want the message to demonstrate compassion. Heartfelt, genuine condolences are meaningful when someone experiences a loss. You don’t want to send a sympathy message that feels contrived. You also don’t want your sympathy card to appear as though you’re using someone’s loss as an excuse for advertising your business. Company sympathy cards need to strike a delicate balance so that your recipient knows you care and that you genuinely want to express your condolences.

Are You Uncertain About What to Write in Business Sympathy Cards?

card, you’ll need to craft a message that encapsulates what you want to say to someone who has experienced a loss. Whether you’re sending a card to an employee or a client, the sentiment expressed inside the card should convey your sympathy.

If you know the deceased individual, you can share a meaningful personal memory. In many cases, however, you might not know the person who died. Either way, you can keep your sympathy message short. One or two sentences that show warmth and caring are sufficient. Some ideas of messages you can use in your sympathy card include the following:

  • Celebrating a life well lived while recognizing your grief.
  • Sending our deepest sympathy to you and your family.
  • Wishing you peace and comfort with warm and lasting memories.
  • Sending our best wishes for hope, peace, and comfort in your time of sadness.

Tips for Sending a Sympathy Card From a Business

Keep the following tips in mind when you’re preparing to send a sympathy card from your business. The following tips will help you craft the appropriate message for your recipient.

Brainstorm Before Writing

You’re likely feeling pressure to write the perfect message when a client or employee has experienced a loss in his or her family. You have the opportunity to demonstrate that you care and add a bright spot to someone’s day while doing so. Take a few moments to brainstorm what you’d like to say before starting to construct the sentences.

Take some time to pause and think about what you want to write. Write down a few notes about the words you’d like to use and any specific details you feel are appropriate to share. Then, type your message so that Handwrytten can create the text in the sympathy card from your business using our custom-designed handwriting tools.

Avoid Cliches

You may be tempted to rely on unoriginal phrases when you’re writing a sympathy card. Phrases to avoid include the following:

  • This shall pass.
  • Time heals all wounds.
  • (Name) is in a better place.
  • Everything happens for a reason.

Not only are these phrases overused, but these contrived sentiments won’t necessarily bring someone comfort. A sympathy card is also not the place to offer advice. Instead of relying on cliches or trying to rationalize a loss, write a personal detail or note to express your support.

Close With Sincerity

End your sympathy card with a sincere, warm closing. Respectful regards offer the ideal way to close a sympathy card. Ways to end your note include the following:

  • Sending my heartfelt condolences.
  • Wishing you peace.
  • With sympathy.

Then, sign your name or your company’s name on the card.

Clearly Identify Yourself in the Card

Assume that the recipient of the card will also receive many other sympathy notes. When you sign the card, use a group name for your business or your full name if the card is coming only from you.

If you are the only individual writing the sympathy card, assume that other people will share your first name. Writing your full name will ensure the recipient of the card knows who sent it.

If you’re sending a sympathy card on behalf of your business or a specific team or group from your company, you can use the business or team name with a signature such as the following:

  • Your (business name) team.
  • In sympathy, (your business name).
  • Your friends at (your business name).

Knowing how to write a sympathy card from your business can help remove the stress of putting together the perfect message. A heartfelt sympathy note can go a long way toward bolstering your relationship with a customer, employee, or business partner during a difficult time. By showing someone who has lost a loved one that you are thinking about the person, your recipient will know that you support him or her beyond simple business considerations. A genuine sympathy message offers a meaningful gesture of support that the recipient will value.

How to create a sympathy cardA sympathy card is often one of the simplest ways to show how much we care for anyone who has lost a family member or friend. The main purpose of a sympathy card is to provide kind words and support to those who are grieving after the loss of a loved one.

If you don’t know how to begin, Neptune Society shares some useful tips on how to write a heartfelt sympathy card.

How to Write a Sympathy Card

1. Pick the right type of sympathy card in the store, or carefully make your own. You don’t want to use humorous cards or stationery whose design is meant for another occasion.

2. Let the recipient know who you are and how you knew or were related to the deceased person. Generally, sympathy cards are sent to the widow(er), eldest child, or a parent. If you did not know the deceased personally, send the sympathy card to the closest relative that you knew. If it’s a grieving friend and you didn’t know the deceased person’s family, only send the card to your friend.

3. Use formalities. Show respect by using Mr., Miss, Mrs., or other appropriate forms of address. Be sure to also include proper grammar and spelling throughout the card.

4. Express how you felt. Here are some examples on where to start:

“Sending prayers to you and your family”
“We are sorry for your loss”
“Sharing in your sadness. He/she will be deeply missed”
“Please accept our sympathy/condolences in your time of sorrow”
“Our hearts and thoughts are with you”

Your condolence message can also be more meaningful by recalling a fond memory of the deceased. Make sure this story will be something that will comfort the bereaved.

5. Offer some help. Sometimes families and friends coping with the loss of a loved one just need an ear to listen or a shoulder to cry on. However, don’t be afraid to extend your help to something as watching the child or cooking up dinner.

6. Don’t be afraid to be unique. Because the relationship you had with the deceased was unique, offering condolences in a unique way can help to honor their memory and console the recipient of the sympathy card. For example, you might opt to include a meaningful quote, song, or poem that sends a comforting message.

Things to Avoid Saying

What you don’t write matters as much as what you do write in a sympathy card. Some phrases you should avoid using:

“It’s all for the best” or “It happened for a reason”
“I know how you feel”
“You should do something like…”
“You will recover soon”
“He/she was too young”

Remember that this is a sensitive and difficult time in a family or friend’s life and there is no need to remind them or dwell on the pain. Also, you should not insist that this was something familiar, by saying you know how it feels like or by comparing it to your own experience (if you lost a loved one before). Everyone heals differently and in their own time, so it’s best to remember that it’s not your place to dictate what someone else should do to in moments of grief.

Letting Them Heal

Those suffering from a loss appreciate that family and friends remember to say hello when the bereavement stage has passed. Let them know that you’re around even when there’s no occasion, or on occasions that remind the death of a loved one such as an anniversary or birthday.

Neptune Society would like to send our sympathies to families and friends who may be experiencing these moments of bereavement. We hope that this guide on writing a sympathy card might help you to send comforting messages to a person who has lost a loved one.

Please call us if you need to discuss our services such as cremation preplanning, veterans cremation benefits, or internment at our Memorial Reef. If you would like to request free information, simply fill out this form. You may also get immediate assistance if a loved one has passed away in the last 24 hours by calling your nearest Neptune Society local representative.

The Neptune Society is the nation’s oldest and largest provider of affordable cremation services. Whether you have an immediate need or want to plan cremation services in advance, we are always available to assist you and your family.

Call 1-800-NEPTUNE (800-637-8863) today or contact us online to learn more.

Sympathy Creatacards™ are a great way to reach out and let someone know you care. Show support and encouragement when someone you care about is grieving.

How to create a sympathy card

Wishing You Peace

How to create a sympathy card

Smile Again – Sympathy

How to create a sympathy card

Peace and Love Sympathy

How to create a sympathy card

In Your Heart Forever Sympathy

How to create a sympathy card

How to create a sympathy card

How to create a sympathy card

A Pet is Family

How to create a sympathy card

A Life, A Legacy

Sympathy Creatacards™

Sympathy creatacards let you comfort a person who is grieving in a highly customized way. You might console them by tailoring your card for the loss a mom, dad, family member, pet or other tragic loss. Write your own message, add a name or alter text. Then preview and share your card however you feel is best: try our new digital send option through e-mail, text or post. Sympathy cards are a convenient solution when shopping for paper cards in stores or online isn’t an option. Whether it’s for a loved one, friend, co-worker or another person in your life, sympathy creatacards cover a range of relationships and levels of closeness. Beautiful artwork such as nature imagery and photography pair well with warm and uplifting verse. When words fail, you could tell them just that. Or perhaps one of our greeting card writers can help you out with tips and inspiration on “What to Write in a Sympathy Card.” A sorry-for-your-loss Creatacard™ is a heartfelt way to reach out during a difficult time with wishes for peace, strength and solace.

Sign up for a free trial today to send heartfelt sympathy cards that you can print from the comfort of your home.

Finding the right words for a sympathy card is tricky. That’s the main reason for this website – to give you help in expressing your thoughts and getting the correct words for the way you’re feeling.

Hopefully if you’re struggling with this then you will find what you need here. But one area that is often overlooked is how to sign a sympathy card when you’ve written the message.

How you sign your card will depend on how well you know the deceased, and to a certain extent on the message you’ve written. Some of the more basic closing’s that you can use before signing your name are:

  • Our sincere sympathy
  • Please accept my condolences
  • With caring thoughts
  • With deepest sympathy
  • Warmest condolences
  • With sympathy
  • You are in our thoughts and prayers
  • Wishing you peace
  • Sending you love
  • Wishing you strength for today and hope for tomorrow

Try to keep things short, but avoid using anything like “Sincerely” as this can come across as too distant and formal.

If you knew them well then you can consider using their name when you sign the card. This can add personalisation to the card, making it seem more genuine and sincere.

Also, including a more personal sentiment and perhaps the word “love” would be appropriate, depending on the relationship you had with the deceased. Some of these sentiments would be a good starting point for closing your sympathy card:

  • With love
  • With loving memories
  • Thinking of you
  • _______ will never be forgotten
  • _______ will live on in our hearts
  • _______ memory will never be forgotten
  • _______ will remain in our hearts
  • We will never forget ______
  • It is often a good idea to keep your sympathy message or note brief, and the same applies to how you sign it. Don’t go on for too long, keep it short and simple.
  • Sign your name, don’t leave it as anonymous. The recipient will want to know who it came from.
  • If you’re signing a sympathy card for a pet then all the same rules apply. You can possibly be slightly more informal, but never forget that people appreciate and love their pets as much as they do family. Keep that in mind and avoid anything that might offend them.
  • Unless you know it’s appropriate, avoid anything religious.

How to create a sympathy card

Most of us know exactly what to write in a birthday or Christmas card – after all, we’ve been writing them at the same time every year for many years – however, when it comes to those less frequent occasions, we can struggle with knowing what to say. Especially when someone is grieving. There are no set rules for this, and we are not taught about what to write in sympathy cards in school; this is something we have to learn for ourselves, and it can get some of us rather stressed out. After all, what if we write the wrong thing?

Why write a sympathy card?

Nobody wants to have to write a sympathy card, but it is impossible to go through life and not have anybody you care for experience a loss. It is a fact of life. When these heart-breaking events occur, we naturally want to convey our condolences to our loved ones and offer our support, and despite all other contact (text messages, phone calls, emails, etc.) the best way to do this is through the sending of a sympathy card. I am not suggesting you don’t do the other things – in fact, I encourage these other options also – but there is something special about a handwritten note in these circumstances that cannot be replaced. It is a time of reflection for the bereaved, and handwritten cards and letters can be read and re-read by the recipient, and then kept if they so wish.

Tips for writing a sympathy card

There are no real rules, but the below are some tips which will help guide you in what to write:

  • Choose an appropriate card. If your grieving friend isn’t religious, don’t give them a religious card – even if you are religious. Simple cards are the best, as they are a blank canvas for you to write a personal message – too much printed writing inside ruins the personal feel.
  • Talk about the person who has died. If you knew them well, mention a fond memory you have of them. If you didn’t know them so well, mention some positive characteristics of theirs, such as their ability to make people laugh in any circumstances, or their commitment to helping their favourite charity.
  • Offer your help, in an appropriate way – but only if you can genuinely complete the task. For example, perhaps you could offer your services for childcare, to look after a pet, or provide some meals. Think practical. Writing “if you need anything, I’m here” is nice in theory, but it is an offer that won’t very often be taken up, as it is too vague.

What not to write in a sympathy card

Don’t tell them you know how they feel – we all process loss differently. Don’t offer advice, don’t focus on the circumstances surrounding the death, don’t assign blame, and don’t tell them they will feel better in X amount of time. Just be gently supportive. Think about what you would like or need to hear if you were in their shoes.

Following up your sympathy card

Grief can last a very long time, and loss can be especially hard for those left behind on special occasions such as the deceased’s birthday, wedding anniversaries, Christmas, and the anniversary of their death. You could make a note of these dates, and offer support to your friend or relative on these tough milestones. Your note can be simple; just let them know they are in your thoughts, and the offer of help still stands if needed. Let them know it is OK to still be feeling sad.

As a long-term stationery lover, I adore working for The Pen Company. My childhood saw me carrying around a little red briefcase covered in stickers and full of pens, paper and other such goodies; my adulthood sees me doing pretty much exactly the same!

How to create a sympathy card

How to create a sympathy card

Do you ever wonder what to say after someone passes away? Whether it’s the mother of a close friend, the spouse of a coworker, a friend’s sister, or someone’s father, the right words are often hard to find. Don’t let fear keep you from sending a comforting message. It’s important to take the time to write something to show you care.

If you’ve ever felt at a loss for words following someone’s passing, you’re not alone. You know that the family and close friends of the deceased are hurting, and no matter what you say, that pain won’t go away. However, also know that expressing our condolences is the right thing to do, and it needs to have comforting words that show your heartfelt sympathy.

” data-caption=”” data-expand=”300″ data-tracking-container=”true” />

The Spruce / Alison Czinkota

Prepare to Write the Sympathy Note

It’s always a good idea to write down a few thoughts on a separate sheet of paper before you begin. If you are sending flowers, you may want to jot an additional brief note to include with the delivery, but a separate message should still be mailed.

Remember that your words need to sound natural and heartfelt, so feel free to use the examples of one of the templates below but edit them to make them your own. Make sure your comments are personal. Your message doesn’t have to be long. Even a brief note will be enough to let the grieving know you are thinking about them.

Sympathy cards should be written by hand or printed on a sympathy card, blank card, or good stationery. It’s best not to send condolences in email or text messages. Try to send the note as soon as possible after the death, but there is no time limit. If you don’t hear about the person or pet’s passing until a year later, you should still send a note to show that you care.

Here are suggestions of thoughts, words, or phrases you may want to include in your sympathy note:

How to create a sympathy card

Written by Jon Woods: Professional Writer & Poet

How to create a sympathy cardReviewed by Adam Binstock On June 4, 2021

Article Highlights

Losing a loved one is one of the most difficult experiences in life.

In such a situation, just letting someone know you are thinking of them, through a thoughtful message or grief poem in a sympathy card, goes a long way in providing some comfort. When writing a sympathy card, it should be a goal to be as respectful and unintrusive as possible.

Put simply, there is no right thing to say, other than to show that you care.

What Not To Say

While you may not be able to find the perfect words to give them comfort, there are certain things you should refrain from saying:

  • Phrases like “It’s all in God’s plan” or “Maybe it was for the best” are strange things to write in a sympathy card. Although well-intentioned, it is important to understand that someone mourning a deep, personal loss may not be ready to see the bright side yet. It’s best to give them the time they need to grieve.
  • You should not tell a grieving person that they need to move on or get out more. Mourning is a process and everyone heals at their own pace. Join them in their comfort zone and let them you are there whenever they need you.
  • “I know how you feel” or “The pain will go away with time” are rarely able to provide comfort soon after a devastating loss.

Following are several phrases that will let someone know you’re here for them. Be sure to start with one that feels right for the person you’re comforting.

How to create a sympathy card

Hi friends! Kate, here. I recently needed a sympathy card and really struggled for an idea. It’s hard to lose someone special and even harder to decide on the perfect card to send.

After I figured out what to make, I thought it might be helpful to come up with more ideas to share with you. Here are 5 ideas for sympathy cards that you can refer to when you are in need of that special card.

How to create a sympathy card

1. Tone on Tone diecut

Take a simple diecut. Diecut it several times, layer for dimension and add a simple sentiment. Our Neenah Stardream Pearlescent cardstock is a beautiful choice, here in Coral.

Tulip die from Simon Says Stamp

How to create a sympathy card

2. Highlighted Ink Blending

You can ink blend a shape (like the circle) on our Neenah Classic Crest Solar White cardstock and stamp a simple image in black for a beautiful one layer card. Add some splatters for interest. Licorice Twist Bazzill Card Shoppe 100 lb makes for a sturdy card base. Be sure to add an inner panel in white for writing your message.

Stamps from Stampin’ Up! (retired)

How to create a sympathy card

3. Full Ink Blended Background

Similar to the previous card, but with the entire panel ink blended. Stamp your images in black. Even if it is an outline image, you can color in the image with a black marker to make it appear as a shadow. Neenah Solar White Classic Crest cardstock is super smooth and perfect for ink blending.

Stamp from Stampin’ Up! (retired)

Distress Oxide Inks: Mustard Seed, Carved Pumpkin, Picked Raspberry, Chipped Sapphire

How to create a sympathy card

4. Black and White Image

Use a stencil (or painter’s tape) to mask off a rectangle on our Neenah Classic Crest Solar White cardstock. Ink blend inside the shape (here, slightly darker toward the bottom). Pop up your stamped image and add a sentiment strip and this simple card is done.

Stamp set from Concord and 9th

Sentiment Strip from Taylored Expressions

How to create a sympathy card

5. Heat Embossing on Dark Cardstock

Select a simple outline image and emboss in white on colored cardstock (darker shades work best). The neutral shade of Dark Kraft Bazzill Smoothies makes the white “pop” on the paper. For some added interest, use rectangle infinity dies to remove a thin rectangle from the panel.

How to create a sympathy card

Stamps from Concord and 9th

Rectangle dies from Hero Arts

Sentiment from PaperTreyInk

Another great technique for Sympathy cards (bleaching) can be found here:

Pin or bookmark this post so you have it when you need it!

Everyone grieves in their own way. While there is nothing you can do to alleviate their suffering, making sympathy message is sure something you can do to lessen it. Expressing your sorry through sympathy messages is one of the best ways to make those who are grieving feel cared for and that they are not alone.

However, writing a sympathy message for loss can sometimes be tricky. Although it’s always acceptable to just say “with the deepest sympathy,” you certainly want something different if it’s your friend who is grieving.

While you may not precisely know what your friend is going through, you sure know that saying simple, comforting words is preferable to saying nothing. Even if you are just sending a text with sympathy quotes for loss that you will find in the next sections.

But why do you have to send sympathy messages for loss? Sending condolences is crucial because it is a way of demonstrating that you care about the people who are in mourn while also acknowledging what they have been through. Sending sympathy wishes to those who are less fortunate is a sign that you are emotionally intelligent.

According to research, 95% of Human Resource professionals believe that emotionally intelligent employees can create a good and productive environment. Not only in professional life but being in touch with others’ emotions is also beneficial for personal life. Now that you know sending a heartfelt sympathy text is a thoughtful thing you can do, below are the key points to note when making such a message.

  • Simple is the best – Keep your sympathy note as simple as possible to let the recipient know you are always there for them.
  • Choose a few appropriate phrases – There are many phrases you can choose to open a condolence message. You can also find them in this post.
  • State your full name – Make sure to always identify yourself when sending a message to someone who is grieving.
  • Don’t include your personal experiences and feelings – Avoid doing this because everyone doesn’t experience loss and grief the same way you do.
  • Avoid things related to culture – It would be best to avoid mentioning the name of God if you don’t know the recipient well.
  • Professional sympathy cards – Using corporate cards to express your sympathy to your colleagues is the right way to do. Just follow the points above, and your thoughtful message will be much appreciated by the recipient.

How to create a sympathy card

How to create a sympathy card

When an employee’s or a customer’s loved one passes away, it can be hard for company leaders to know exactly what to say in a sympathy card. You want to keep it professional, but also show compassion by delivering genuine, heartfelt condolences. If you struggle in this department, don’t worry! We’ve got you covered.

This guide will give you sympathy message ideas to get you started and tips and tricks on what to write in business sympathy cards.

Ideas for What to Write in a Sympathy Card

If you grapple with finding the perfect words for your message in a sympathy card or often battle writer’s block, we hope these sample sympathy messages below will inspire you:

“We are so sorry for your loss. We want you to know that we are thinking of you during this difficult time.”

“I am deeply saddened to learn that your (mother, father, spouse, sibling, etc.) recently passed away. Please know that you have my deepest sympathy.”

“The loss of a loved one is never easy. That’s why we want you to know that our thoughts and prayers are with you during this challenging time.”

“I wish you peace and comfort as you mourn the loss of your (mother, father, spouse, sibling, etc.). You’ll be in my thoughts and prayers.”

“Mourning the death of a loved one is hard, but please know that we grieve with you during this difficult time.”

“Your [mother, father, spouse, sibling, etc.] was a great person and a joy to be around. He/she will be deeply missed.”

“I know that you are going through a lot right now. Please know that I am here for you.”

“We are keeping you in our thoughts as you mourn the loss of your [mother, father, spouse, sibling, etc.] and pray that you find peace and comfort.”

“My heart goes out to you and your family at this difficult time.”

“Words cannot begin to express our sorrow for your loss. Please accept our deepest condolences.”

Don’t forget to acknowledge the loss of a pet. Pets are family members too and sending your condolences to your customers or employees when they lose one will show you understand and truly care. Here are some sample pet sympathy messages you can use as inspiration:

“I’m so sorry to hear about the loss of your (pet, dog, cat). I hope the happy memories bring you comfort as you grieve.”

“Our sincere condolences on the loss of (pet’s name). We loved (his/her) big personality and will truly miss seeing (him/her) at the office.”

“I hope you know what a difference you made in (pet’s name)’s life. I’m so sorry for your loss.”

“The bond you shared with your beloved (pet, dog, cat, pet’s name) was undeniable, and we want you to know we understand and are here for you. Thinking of you as you remember (him/her).”

For other messaging ideas, click here.


1. Keep your sympathy message short.

How to create a sympathy card

Our Hallmark sympathy cards do a great job of expressing most (if not all) of what you want to say to an employee or customer who’s suffered a loss. All of our cards offer options for an inside sentiment that works best for your recipient. Sentiment options include messages such as:

Wishing you comfort, peace and hope in this time of sadness.

Honoring your sadness, celebrating a live well-lived, and wishing you warm memories and peace.

With deepest sympathy to you and your family.

When it comes to business sympathy cards for your employees and customers, there is a high chance that you do not know the deceased very well. Keeping your sympathy message short is especially important in this situation. Remember the popular saying, “less is best”. Just one or two sentences can still come across as warm and caring.

This article was co-authored by Nicole Moshfegh, PsyD and by wikiHow staff writer, Janice Tieperman. Dr. Nicole Moshfegh is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist and Author based in Los Angeles, California. Dr. Moshfegh specializes in multicultural competence and treating patients with mood and anxiety disorders and insomnia. She holds a BA in Psychology and Social Behavior from The University of California, Irvine (UCI), and an MA and Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) from Pepperdine University. Dr. Moshfegh completed her predoctoral internship and postdoctoral fellowship at The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Additionally, she is a member of the American Psychological Association, National Register of Health Service Psychologists, Los Angeles County Psychological Association, and Collaborative Family Healthcare Association. Dr. Moshfegh is also the best-selling author of “The Book of Sleep: 75 Strategies to Relieve Insomnia”.

There are 9 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.

This article has been viewed 74,038 times.

It’s heartbreaking to watch someone you know go through a deep loss. You want to say something, but how can you express your sympathy without coming across as insensitive or cliche? There’s no need to worry. With condolences, your goal isn’t to “fix” the person’s problem and make them feel better–instead, your priority is to just offer support and solidarity. We’ve put together a selection of tasteful suggestions to help you express sympathy during a person’s time of need.

How to create a sympathy card

When my husband died from cancer, my daughters and I received hundreds of cards. Ericlee was a teacher, coach, and director of a non-profit organization that was supported by several area churches. His influence was far-reaching.

Hundreds of people packed the church for his memorial service, and we went home with bins full of cards. Students from the school where he taught showed up at our door with homemade cards. Friends and relatives mailed us cards to express their condolences. Some slipped gift cards for grocery stores and restaurants inside.

I was overwhelmed by the support.

After family returned home following the funeral and friends returned to work, we had to find our new normal without our daddy and husband. These precious cards remained.

Words of encouragement is one of my main love languages so these cards became treasures to me in a dark season of grief and loneliness.

One of my favorite cards included a letter written by a young man who had been one of my husband’s students and athletes. He talked about how Ericlee had inspired him and encouraged him to pursue a career he wouldn’t have considered before. He shared how his faith in God had grown as a result of knowing Ericlee.

Those words were gold to me. They spoke of my husband’s legacy. They provided a tangible story I could share with my young daughters about who their dad was and how he cared deeply for people.

Words of encouragement are one way that we can love people well through loss. It shows they are seen and important to us. Know this: You don’t need to agonize over finding the perfect words. The gesture matters.

Here are some quick tips for sending meaningful sympathy cards:

Select a card that will be meaningful for the person receiving it.

Does that person like a certain flower or Bible verse? Think about what season of life the receiver is in. Is she a mother? Grandmother? Friend? Cards specific to the audience show that you are paying attention and didn’t just grab something generic.

Avoid giving advice or writing cliché statements.

Oftentimes we feel like we need to offer some advice or comfort to the person in a card. Consider one of these statements instead: “I am so sorry for your loss.” “I don’t have the right words to say, but I want you to know I care about you.” “I can’t imagine what you’re going through today.”

Share a memory of the person who died.

Take a few minutes to share a story or special memory you have of the person who died. How did they influence you? What character qualities did they have that you admired? If you didn’t know the person well, consider including what you appreciate about the person receiving the card.

Remind the person they are loved and remembered.

Don’t tell the receiver how to feel or try to make them feel better. Don’t say things like “Be strong” or “You will get past this.” Instead, acknowledge their grief, and remind them how much they mean to you.

Consider including a gift card, a bouquet of flowers, or a specific offer to help with something.

You might purchase a gift card for a coffee shop, restaurant or house cleaning service to accompany your card. Plan to go help mow the lawn, fold laundry, bring dinner or offer something else that could support the person or family.

We serve a God of comfort. Jesus mourned with his friends Mary and Martha when their brother Lazarus died. God walks closely with us through difficult times. He also designed us so that we might offer the same comfort to others. Paul illuminates this idea:

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort. He comforts us in all our affliction,so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any kind of affliction, through the comfort we ourselves receive from God. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 CSB

Is God placing someone on your heart today who you could encourage with a card? Have courage, my friend. Sending cards does not have to take a lot of time, but it can go a long way in expressing love and sympathy. It’s never too late.

I was blessed every time I opened my mailbox and found another card after my husband’s death. These words helped show me that people still cared about us and remembered my beloved. And that was the greatest gift.

Looking for more inspiration? Browse our entire Devotional Library and Digital Resource Library for faith-filled inspiration and resources. Sign up for our e-newsletter to receive free articles, updates from our Ecard Studio as well as exclusive deals.

Expert advice on what to say in tough times.

How to create a sympathy card

How to create a sympathy card

When a friend, family member, or even coworker loses a loved one, it’s hard to know what to say. Words fall short in the face of something as devastating as death, especially if you can’t comfort them in person. But when a person is grieving, a kind word in a personalized note or card can show them they aren’t alone in the world, even if none of us truly know what the person who’s lost someone is feeling. That said, many people let this particularly paralyzing writer’s block prevent them from sending one at all. According to Hallmark, sympathy cards represent just six percent of all cards sold annually and more than 90 percent of those are purchased by buyers over the age of 40.

That statistic might be outdated this year. A New York Times story in April 2020 found the cards selling out at drugstores and local card stores, online and in grocery store card aisles. If you find yourself among the many who find themselves trying to find the right words at an impossible time, you’re far from the only ones. We asked etiquette and communication experts for some guidance on the perfect message.

Don’t agonize over the perfect words

Expressing your sympathy will mean the world to your recipient, even if the way you phrase it isn’t exactly Shakespeare. “People should not overthink or worry about expressing a sincere gesture of condolence,” says etiquette expert Diane Gottsman author of Modern Etiquette for a Better Life and founder of The Protocol School of Texas.“We often are not sure what to say so we avoid the person or skip the note. As long as you are communicating sincere empathy and support, your words will be appreciated.”

To get you started, you might begin with your own version of:

  • Our thoughts are with you during this difficult time.
  • We’re thinking of you, now more than ever.
  • We’re here for your family, whatever you need.
  • I’m so sorry for your loss.

How to create a sympathy card

Reach out (in writing!) as soon as you can

You should send a note as soon as you hear of their loss, but if you don’t get a card in the mail the very same day, late is better than never. “People who are grieving will appreciate words of support and care long after they have lost a loved one,” says Barrie Davenport, certified personal coach, author, and founder of Live Bold and Bloom. You may want to address the delay in writing in your card by saying something like:

  • I’m so sorry for not reaching out sooner, but you have been in my thoughts constantly.
  • I’ve just heard of [loved one’s] passing, and wanted to reach out and share my sincerest condolences.
  • You and your family have been in my thoughts since I heard of [loved one’s] passing.

Here’s what not to write

What you write in that card can depend on your relationship to the person and their dearly departed. Davenport suggests putting yourself in their shoes, and considering what you might find comforting in a time of grief. But avoid clumsy sentiments like, “Everything happens for a reason,” or “He was gone too soon,” or especially, “It was a blessing in disguise.” When someone has lost someone, it doesn’t feel like a blessing. And if you don’t know their religious proclivities, mentioning God or heaven may even come across as offensive.

Also avoid advice like, “Stay strong” or “You’ll get through it.” While well-intentioned, those sentiments may come across as undermining their feelings. “Grief is a process that’s unique to everyone who goes through it,” Davenport adds. “Feelings of grief and loss need to be experienced, and a grieving person doesn’t need to feel like they should buck up or hide their emotions.”

Express sincere condolences, instead

When writing a sympathy card, sincerity is key. Think about your friend or family member’s cultural norms and how they usually handle tough times. For example, you might write something like:

  • I know you are heartbroken about the loss of such an amazing and important woman in your life.
  • I know how much [the person’s loved one] meant to you, and I can’t imagine what this loss feels like.
  • We were so sorry to hear that [the late loved one] has passed. I know nothing we can say can ease the pain.

As you go on, both experts suggest including three basic elements in a sympathy card:

  • Start with sincere condolences
  • Share a brief memory of the deceased
  • Offer support or assistance – and then follow through

If you didn’t know the person, Davenport suggests writing something like:

  • Though I never met your mother, she must have been a remarkable woman to have raised a daughter like you.
  • I know the happy, positive memories you hold of your mother will sustain and comfort you as you grieve her passing.

If you did know the person, consider sharing some happy memories or things you particularly loved about them. Try:

  • I always loved when [loved one] and I [did particular activity together]. I’ll always look back on those times with fond memories.
  • Your [loved one] had such a wonderful [character trait or way of relating to others] and I know that will be so greatly missed.
  • Your [loved one] will be sorely missed in [activity they engaged in, like church, a volunteer activity, or leadership capacity]. This world is a little dimmer without their light.

If you don’t know what their relationship to the recently departed was like, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t reach out. Instead, you can simply say:

  • I can’t imagine how they must feel after the loss of your [loved one]. I’m always here for you if you want to talk about it. Know you’re in my thoughts.

Don’t forget to follow up

There’s a reason why many people drop off casseroles when a family member passes away. We all want to do something to feel less helpless when tragedy strikes. Offer whatever feels right to you in your note, but don’t forget to actually do it. Davenport suggests practical assistance like:

  • I know you’ll be busy with arrangements next week, so please let me pick up your kids from school and bring them to my house in the afternoons.
  • I plan to come by next week with groceries and dinner for your family.
  • If it’ll help, we would love to drop by with a meal for you and your family. Please let us know when is convenient.

Even if you don’t live nearby or can’t offer concrete help, saying that you’re happy to act as a shoulder to cry on can make them feel loved from afar. Gottsman suggests:

  • I will keep you and your family in my thoughts. Please know I am here to support you during this difficult time. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you need me. I will follow up with you in the next few weeks.

Close by reiterating your care for the person, and how much you’re thinking about them. And remember, when it comes to sympathy cards, the sentiment is the important thing. Genuine care will shine through, even if your words aren’t perfect.

Add That Artsy Ink Splatter Without the Mess

Hello, Altenew friends! This is Virginia here. I am delighted to share an artsy project with ink splatter. The splattering effect is artsy and cool, however, it can be a…

How to Make Pastel Watercolor Flower Cards | Take 2 with Therese (with Video Tutorial!)

Hi, it’s Therese, and I am back with another edition of Take 2 with Therese. Today’s post shares two ideas using the Craft-A-Flower dies to create pastel watercolor flower cards.…

How to Use BEAUTIFUL Floral Silhouettes on Cards | Take 2 with Therese + Video!

Hi, it’s Therese, and I am back with another edition of Take 2 with Therese. Today’s post shares two ideas to use floral silhouettes on handmade cards! These beautiful cards…

Use Texture to Make Monochromatic Die-Cuts Shine!

Hello, Altenew friends! Emily Midgett here with you today, and I have a few tricks to share to help make a monochromatic card that uses lots of textures to help…

Layer Up! Try This Easy Method with Your Layering Dies And Take Them To the Next Level!

Stylish Cardmaking Techniques Hi everyone! It’s Jenny Colacicco here, back with another Stylish Cardmaking Techniques session. Today, I’m focusing on layering dies – floral dies to be exact – and…

Have Fun with Slim Washi Tape!

Hi there everyone! It’s Jenny here, back with more Stylish Cardmaking Techniques. Today, I’m sharing three ways to have fun with slim washi tape! These little tapes come up in…

Sparkle & Shine Stamp/Die/Stencil/Embossing Folder/Ink/Gel Pen Collection Release Blog Hop & Giveaway ($300 in Total Prizes)

Hello, everyone! Happy Friday! Lydia here. I’m excited to be kicking off our Sparkle & Shine Stamp/Die/Stencil/Embossing Folder/Ink Release Blog Hop! Get ready to sparkle and shine! This releases focuses…

How to add bright color for a focal point that pops!

Hello Altenew friends! It’s Laurie here with a floral card that will take you minutes to complete! I do love finding quick and easy ways to add color for a…

Altenew Craft-A-Flower: Dendrobium Orchid Release Blog Hop + Giveaway ($200 in total prizes)

Hi there! Emily Midgett here with you today, and I’m so excited to be sharing some inspiration using this month’s addition to the Craft-A-Flower family: Craft-A-Flower Dendrobium Orchid Layering Die…

Two quick and Easy projects using Craft-A-Flower Rose

Hi there Crafters, I am so excited to be here sharing my first post as an Altenew Design Team member, (I’ve dreamt about it for such a long time.) Today…

Use Dye Inks to Watercolor!

Hello everyone! Erum here with a clean, minimalistic-looking watercolor card featuring the Build-A-Flower: Coneflower Stamp Set. Start by stamping the image onto A2 Watercolor Cardstock in Polar Bear Crisp Dye Ink.…

Altenew Plentiful Patterns Stand-Alone Dies/Stencils Collection Release Blog Hop + Giveaway ($300 in total prizes)

Hello there! Nathalie with you today, and I am so excited to welcome you to ALTENEW PLENTIFUL PATTERNS COLLECTION BLOG HOP. You are going to love this new collection. This…

Finding the right heartwarming words to write in a sympathy card has never been easier. As a matter of fact, there is no perfect way to describe your intense emotions and say that you are sorry for their loss and there is nothing you could do to heal their pain.

But what matters the most is your empathetic, kind, and thoughtful words that somehow make the grieving person a little bit satisfied and relieved- which is why sending a condolence card with a deep sympathy message is the only way to show your support.

However, if you are not able to find the right words to express your heartache and couldn’t formulate a message to write in a condolence card, then you need to read this article till the end.

Here we have compiled a list of handwritten comforting sympathy messages that are meant to show support if your dear ones lost their parents, husbands, siblings, or friends.

Common Sympathy Messages for Everyone!

These short, simple, and deep sympathy messages are just great starters to support someone. Use these messages to make a grieving person a bit comforting.

  • “My deepest, heartfelt condolences are with you and your family”
  • “I am sorry for your loss”
  • “It’s terrible to hear about your loss, my deep condolences are with you”
  • “Really sad to hear the news. Please know that I am a phone call away from you”
  • “Thinking of you and wishing you some moments of peace”
  • “I am truly sorry for your loss. Please accept my warm condolences”
  • “Your loss has left me deeply saddened. I am always here for you”

Sympathy Messages for the Loss of a Mother:

The bond between children and mother is so respectful, unbreakable, and filled with undying love. She supports her children no matter what- even when reaching their adulthood.

That’s the reason, the loss of a mother is nothing less than devastating. Here are few comforting words to say when someone loses their mother.

  • “I am sorry to learn of your mother’s passing. She was a wonderful and brave woman who will be missed by many people.”
  • “I didn’t know your mother, but she must have been an incredible woman to raise someone as special as you”
  • “My deepest condolences on the loss of your mother. May her soul rest in peace”
  • “Remembering your wonderful mother and wishing you lots of peace and comfort”
  • “She is still there watching you. So, hold onto her memories. She wouldn’t want to see you cry. Please stay strong”
  • “She will forever be in our hearts. May her soul rest in peace”

Sympathy Messages for the Loss of a Father:

Finding some soothing words to express the loss of someone’s father is a bit daunting thing. Here we have mentioned some ideas that you can use to express your condolences.

  • “May you and your family find peace and comfort at this moment”
  • “My condolences to you for the passing of your father. There will never be another man like him”
  • “No words can describe how sorry I am for the loss of your father. Please accept my condolences”
  • “We are deeply saddened by your father’s death. Here are our condolences to your family.”
  • “Your father did a great job raising a person like you. May you feel his pride and love”
  • “Your dad was a great mentor to me. I am sorry to hear about his passing. Your family is in my thoughts and prayers”

Sympathy Messages for the Loss of a Husband:

Losing a husband is very painful for every woman. No words of sorrow can give the grieving lady a little comfort on that loss. However, it’s crucial to let them know that you are sorry for their loss.

  • “What a painful loss. Please accept my deep condolences over the passing of your husband. May his soul rest in peace”
  • “He must have gone away, but he is still right next to you. Love never dies. Please take care of yourself”
  • “With sincere sympathy on the passing of your husband, we share your grief in the profound loss”
  • “There will be no physical presence for sure, but memories will always remain there. Sorry to hear about your husband”
  • “My heart aches on the demise of your husband. He was one of the kindest persons I have ever met”
  • “My deep sympathies go to you in this trying time. May his soul rest in peace”

Sympathy Messages for the Loss of a Wife:

Losing a wife changes the person immeasurably. It’s absolutely heartbreaking. He feels sorry for the rest of his life but sadly, cannot express how he feels!

Here are few thoughtful messages to send condolences to a grieving husband.

  • “My deepest sympathies for your loss. Your wife was a wonderful lady, and we will always miss her so much”
  • “Please accept my heartfelt condolences for the loss of your wife”
  • “The joys your kindhearted wife brought to the world will never be forgotten”
  • “Letting you know that I am thinking about you and always here whenever you want to talk”
  • “No one can replace the wonderful person your wife was. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Sympathy Messages for the Loss of a Child:

The loss of a child is probably one of the most painful tragedies of life one must ever go through. Here are some comforting words to write when someone loses their child.

  • “I cannot imagine what you are going through. My deepest condolences are with you”
  • “I wish I could bring comfort and acceptance. But all we can do is pray for him”
  • “I know I cannot heal your pain, but I am always here for you”
  • “Very sorry for this irreparable loss. May his soul rest in peace”

Send Sympathy Messages with Flowers:

At times, your sympathies require a kind and heartwarming message, but when you combine the gesture with sending flowers, it gets more comforting for the grieving person. It shows that you are always here, and you deeply care about them.

So, if you want to share condolences with someone, make sure you include condolence flowers with sympathy messages to let someone know that they are not alone in this.

At Flower Delivery Canberra, we are always here to make things easy for you. Browse our collections and figure out what could be the most pain-relieving bouquet for your dear ones in such hard times.

Each week I bring #simplestamping to my Facebook Live audience and love the challenge of using just the basics of stamping –stamps, ink, paper–to my design work. #simplestamping is perfect for beginner card makers as well as us avid crafters.

My starting place was Amazing Silhouettes stamp set which stands alone even though there is a bundle option. The dies also stand alone. But if you like them both, I totally recommend taking advantage of the bundle option so you get the 10% savings.

Because Amazing Silhouettes Bundle is such a great option, I’ve listed and linked it below for your convenience. At $44 so it’s perfect for earning a Sale-a-Bration reward. Add just a $6 item to your order to get something free!

I love the artsy look of Amazing Silhouettes. You get a lot of impact from just inking up and stamping. I chose the butterfly stamp as it’s perfect for a sy mpathy card. My color palette of 3 purples was perfect to use the same basic elements for a simple sympathy card and then add a few things to transition into a simple, elegant birthday card. I almost always make at least 2 cards at once. If everything is out and ready, why not. Then I’m ready for just about any occasion:)

The other key element of my beginner cards is a “trifecta” of purples! I love the look of these 3 purples together. The look is rich, elegant, deep yet not dark. Try it!

Be sure to watch my short video showing the process and transformation of my simple sympathy card into a simple yet elegant birthday card. Please follow me on YouTube and Facebook for twice weekly live demonstrations and plenty of crafty inspiration!

How to create a sympathy card


Each week I bring #simplestamping to my Facebook Live audience and love the challenge of using just the basics of stamping –stamps, ink, paper–to my design work. #simplestamping is perfect for beginner card makers as well as us avid crafters.

My starting place was Amazing Silhouettes stamp set which stands alone even though there is a bundle option. The dies also stand alone. But if you like them both, I totally recommend taking advantage of the bundle option so you get the 10% savings.

Because Amazing Silhouettes Bundle is such a great option, I’ve listed and linked it below for your convenience. At $44 so it’s perfect for earning a Sale-a-Bration reward. Add just a $6 item to your order to get something free!

I love the artsy look of Amazing Silhouettes. You get a lot of impact from just inking up and stamping. I chose the butterfly stamp as it’s perfect for a sy mpathy card. My color palette of 3 purples was perfect to use the same basic elements for a simple sympathy card and then add a few things to transition into a simple, elegant birthday card. I almost always make at least 2 cards at once. If everything is out and ready, why not. Then I’m ready for just about any occasion:)

The other key element of my beginner cards is a “trifecta” of purples! I love the look of these 3 purples together. The look is rich, elegant, deep yet not dark. Try it!

Be sure to watch my short video showing the process and transformation of my simple sympathy card into a simple yet elegant birthday card. Please follow me on YouTube and Facebook for twice weekly live demonstrations and plenty of crafty inspiration!

How to create a sympathy card

Often people don’t know what to write in a sympathy card so they don’t send one at all. Today I am giving you a few suggestions so you can make sure never to neglect this important gesture after a friend loses a loved one.

The key to sympathy cards, unless it’s a really close friend, is to keep it short and sincere. The grieving party is probably not ready for anything more than that. Your purpose in writing a sympathy card is not to console, but to simply give your condolences.

In other words, it’s probably not the time to write things like:

“This was God’s will.”

“He/she is in a better place.”

“At least he lived a long life.”

“You will most like remarry and be happy again someday.” (Uh, no!)

“I know how you feel.” (Remember, it’s not about you.)

Here are things that a proper sympathy card should say:

  • Give sympathy for the loss of their loved one.
  • Acknowledge what a special person he/she was.
  • If possible, recall a memory of this person.
  • As generic as it might be, remind them they are in your thoughts or prayers.

Need an example? Here’s one:

I am so sorry about the passing of your sweet father. My heart just breaks for you and your family. I know you and your dad shared a special bond, with memories you will carry for the rest of your life.

You will be in my prayers during this difficult time.

In the above scenario, I didn’t write a memory because in this case I didn’t know her dad well. But I do recall a meaningful card we received after my grandmother’s passing last year that shared memories the right way.

It was from a college buddy of my uncle. When he heard that my grandmother had died, this man wrote the most heartfelt note, recalling how he would look for any excuse to go home with my uncle because my grandmother was known to be the best cook south the Mason Dixon. He remembered how sweet she was to him, giving us specific details of how my grandmother treated him like her own son, and how much that meant to him.

When my uncle read this letter to us we all sobbed (in a good way!). That this man, who hadn’t seen my grandmother in probably 30 years, had taken the time to write down those memories meant the world to us. So if you have memories like that of your friend’s mother or sister or brother, the most gracious and thoughtful thing you can do is record those memories for them in a sincere and heartfelt manner.

So how close should you be to a person to send a sympathy card? If the person is a friend or someone with whom you are currently working (at your job or even on a PTA project) it is kind to send one. If it’s the latter, and you don’t know them that well, err or the side of keeping it short so as not to sound insincere. The gesture speaks louder than words.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t love most drug store sympathy cards. They either seem to give empty platitudes or seem rather bland. So if I can’t find an appropriate card I will sometimes use my own stationery.

I also recently came across the letterpress Scripture card shown above. It is from Southern Stationery ($6.00 for 2 cards; or a mixed set of 10 Bible verse letterpress cards is $30). It is nice to have cards like these on hand so I think I am going to order a few to keep on hand.

What do you say in a sympathy card? Please share your thoughtful tips below!

Because sympathy notes and letters are too personal to follow a set form, one simple rule can guide you: Say what you truly feel. A single sincere line expressing the genuine feeling you had for the deceased is all you need to write. As you write, don’t dwell on the details of an illness or the manner of death. Nor should you suggest that the loss is a “blessing in disguise.” It is appropriate to ask if there is something you can do to help, even suggesting something specific, such as “Please let me know if I can help babysitting.” If you have a specific memory about the deceased it will be a welcome addition, but this is completely optional.

How to create a sympathy card

The following is an example of a short sympathy note:

Dear Vanessa,
Ken and I were very sad to hear of Robert’s death. He always greeted us with kind words and had a wonderful way of making us feel special. If we can help by shopping, running errands, or doing anything else for you, please do call on us. In the meantime, you are in our thoughts and prayers.

How to Address a Sympathy Card

When you send sympathy messages in writing, it’s sometimes hard to know who you should address in your note. Some guidelines:

  • If you knew the deceased well, but not the family, address the note to the closest relative—usually the widow, the widower, or the eldest child. You can also add “and family” if you wish: “Mrs. John Smith and Family.”
  • If you didn’t know the deceased but you know one of the relatives, write to that person.
  • If it’s a friend whose parent has died, write to the friend.
  • Address letters to children who have lost a parent on separate lines: Miss (Ms.) Renée Wynn (the daughter), with Mr. Charles Wynn (the son) underneath. The salutation reads “Dear Renée and Charles.”

Emailing Condolences

When your usual correspondence with a bereaved friend is by email, you can precede a phone call or written condolence with an email—an immediate and non-intrusive way to let him know you are thinking of him. Follow an emailed message with a handwritten note and, whenever possible, attendance at the funeral or visitation.

Online Condolences

Many newspapers and funeral homes offer the opportunity on their websites for people to post sympathy messages. The postings can be extensive and some families receive packages of printed copies of the posted condolences. The family may respond with one note that can be published on the website thanking the senders for their support. It’s not necessary to send individual responses to each comment that is posted, but do send a note to anyone who follows up with a handwritten note or personal email.

Acknowledging Expressions of Sympathy

Handwritten sympathy notes, personal emails, flowers, Mass cards, contributions to charities, and acts of kindness should always be acknowledged by the recipient, if possible. The exception is when the writer asks that her note not be acknowledged—a thoughtful thing to do when writing a close friend or when someone you know well will receive a great number of condolences. Sympathy cards with no personal message, online sympathy notes, and visits to the funeral home or the service don’t need to be acknowledged in writing. Letters of thanks are customarily written to pallbearers, honorary pallbearers, ushers, eulogists, and readers.

If the list of acknowledgements is so long or the recipient isn’t up to the task, a family member or a friend may write the acknowledgements: “Mom asks me to thank you for your beautiful flowers and kind message of sympathy.”

Following is a sample response:

Dear Paige and Will,

On behalf of my family, I want to thank you for your expression of sympathy after the death of my sister, Louise. The beautiful floral wreath meant all the more to us because it came from lifelong friends.

A personal message on a note card is preferable to a printed card, and it only takes a moment to write “Thank you for your beautiful flowers” or “Thank you for your note. Your kind words have been a comfort.” If you use the printed acknowledgements given to you by the funeral director, add a personal message. When the list of condolences is long, these printed cards can serve as intermediary thanks until more personal acknowledgements can be written.

  • Related Categories :
  • Sympathy
  • Pet Sympathy

Prayer For You Sympathy Card

Comfort And Peace Sympathy Card

Floral Leaf Sympathy Card

Thinking Of You Sympathy Card

Some Days Sympathy Card

Love And Flowers Sympathy Card

Love & Thoughts Sympathy Card

I Care Sympathy Card

Holding You Sympathy Card

In Difficult Time Sympathy Card

Deep Condolence Sympathy Card

Someone Special Sympathy Card

Forever Loved Sympathy Card

Deepest Thoughts Sympathy Card

It’s Okay Sympathy Card

Prayer For You Sympathy Card

In Our Hearts Sympathy Card

Thinking Of You Sympathy Card

Looking for bulk cards & discounts?

Animated Sympathy Card Sample

While millions across the world use Sympathy gif cards and animated greetings to delight their friends, family, and colleagues, some find it hard to wrap their heads around animated Sympathy gif images. While above are the most unique Sympathy gif card designs on the internet, we have also prepared an ecard sample for you. Here’s how your animated Sympathy greeting card will look like after all the signatures:

How Animated Sympathy Cards Work?

Animated Sympathy ecards take only a few minutes to design with our virtual card maker. At Send Wish Online, we have simplified the process so much that even a 6 year old can make it without breaking a sweat. Whether you want to create a funny Sympathy gif ecard or a cute animated group greeting, both can be done with ease. Here are the steps that will deliver you the perfect gif Sympathy greeting ever

How to create a sympathy card

Pick a card

Pick a card design that looks right for the Sympathy gif. Add receiver info & delivery timings.

How to create a sympathy card

Add your message

Make sure to add a beautiful Sympathy message. You can add images and gifs also.

How to create a sympathy card

Share with Team

You can email or text the online URL of the Sympathy gif card to your group for signatures.

How to create a sympathy card

Send It Over

Virtual Sympathy gif card will be delivered to the receiver’s email or can be shared directly via URL.

Design an animated Sympathy card

Creating the perfect gif based Sympathy ecard couldn’t get easier than Send Wish Online. With our easy-to-use virtual ecard maker, it just takes a few clicks to churn out the best Sympathy gif greeting ever. Besides making Sympathy ecard creation free, Send Wish Online has also made sharing the cards super easy. Send the online Sympathy greeting card over to your circle of friends to get it signed and customized with more love and ideas. We are on our way to become the best free Sympathy ecard maker on the internet and here’s why it will happen really soon:

Totally free

Super easy to use

Loved across the globe

Unique ecard templates

Check out our collection of Sympathy ecards to discover funny, unique, and cute happy birthday greetings.

What To Write In A Virtual Sympathy Gif Card?

Looking for inspirational Sympathy wishes & messages to make someone’s day special? Check out our definitive guide and tips.

Sympathy – Sharing One’s Sadness

Condolence cards are usually meant to feel bad for someone because they are in a negative situation. Sympathy is sometimes used to indicate compassion. Writing a sympathy greeting card may be a difficult and emotional experience. It’s challenging to find the right words to offer support, comfort, and empathy for an office sympathy card or for someone close to your family.

Make it Easier with Sympathy eCards Online

We understand how vital it is to pay your respects and contribute a piece of your heart while being thoughtful, considerate, and open with your condolences. You should always begin your card with “dear.” Try to comfort them with your words. I don’t recall the negative thoughts. Try to end your card with a more compassionate sign-off.

How to create a sympathy card

Why Sympathy Gif Group eCards?

Our online Sympathy gif group greeting cards are used by millions of people around the world. It’s perfect for offices, connect remote teams, and make your relationship bonds stronger. Here are some of the top features

Unlimited Signatures

Invite your whole team to sign the Sympathy gif card. The online URL of the card can be easily shared with your team. People can leave Sympathy wishes, messages and upload pictures.

Sympathy gif greeting cards are always free

You can choose the free Sympathy gif ecards from our website or upload your own design. Add amazing gif, funny messages and choose a different kind of fonts color and sizes to make your card standout.

Sympathy gif Group Card Can be Styled

You can upload your logo, change the cover, select music, and schedule your Sympathy cards. Not even this you can style your Sympathy wish by selecting amazing images from Giphy.

Sympathy gif Card brings your feelings out

It’s very easy to say things with a greeting card. Sending personalized Sympathy group greetings brings out emotions that allow us to express our care to family, friends, customers, clients, and employees. Our Digital group greeting cards are the best way to send wishes or keep remote friends, family, and colleagues connected.

Traditional Sympathy group cards are hard

Traditional Sympathy paper cards need to be passed around or mail from one destination to another to collect the signatures. Moreover, signed entries can not be edited or deleted. Mistakes can not be corrected after sign. Our online birthday cards can be shared easily via url with anyone.

Sympathy Cards With Music

Musical sympathy cards for your loved ones are timeless classics. Music will be played in the background during card opening. Fully digital and you can choose the music you want from our music library.

Published: 26 July 2021

How to create a sympathy card

Share this page

  • How to create a sympathy card
  • How to create a sympathy card
  • How to create a sympathy card
  • How to create a sympathy card
  • How to create a sympathy card

A condolence message is a way of expressing your sympathies to a grieving friend or family after the death of a loved one. Sending a note or letter offering some words of condolence will let them know that you are thinking about them during their difficult time, which can offer some comfort.

Sending a message can also be an opportunity to offer help and support, if you are able, as well as share happy memories of their loved one.

Getting started

If you’re not used to writing, especially about sensitive topics, it can be difficult to know where to start with a condolence message. Try practising on scrap paper first if you are unsure of what to say.

Below is a rough layout of how your letter or card could be ordered. This is a basic layout that you could use for a condolence message, but there is no set structure you have to follow.

  1. Start with “Dear…” If you are writing to a family, try to include every family member’s name.
  2. Start the message by offering your condolences. This is where you tell them that you are sorry for their loss. You can phrase this in various ways, as you see fit. If unsure, you could say “I was so sorry to hear about your loss” or “I am deeply saddened to hear about the loss of your father.”
  3. Mention a few good qualities of their loved one. Talking about their loved one’s good traits will bring them comfort, knowing they were appreciated and loved. You could say something like, “I will miss her brilliant sense of humour and laugh – she was always the life of the party” or “He was so kind to anyone who needed help”. If you didn’t know them well, you could reflect on what others said about them: “By all accounts he was a kind and generous man” or “I wish I had known her better, she seemed to be so cheerful and caring.”
  4. Share a memory or story about that person. Grieving families can find great comfort in hearing new stories about their loved ones, so don’t be afraid to share cherished memories, as long as they are appropriate. It might be the first time you met, or the last time you saw them, or just a time when they really helped you out.
  5. Offer support if you can. If you are able and willing to offer any kind of support in the coming weeks and months, you can say so in your condolence message. For example, you might offer to help with specific tasks such as cooking, gardening or looking after children, or you might simply say, “If you ever need to talk, I’m here.”
  6. You may want to mention the funeral. If your letter will reach the family before the funeral, you may want to confirm whether or not you are going. If you are writing the letter after the funeral, you could say what a fitting tribute it was. If you did not attend the funeral, you could make your apologies by saying something like: “Please accept my apologies for not being able to attend the funeral.”
  7. Sign off with an appropriate message. An appropriate sign-off could be something like “with sympathy”, “with caring thoughts” or “our sincere sympathy”. If you are close to the bereaved, signing off with “lots of love” or “all my love” may be more appropriate.

Other things to bear in mind

  • Don’t be afraid to express your feelings. It is okay to say how much you miss that person, or how shocked you were when they passed away.
  • Try not to say things like “they’re in a better place” or “they’re with God now”. It’s best not to assume the bereaved family’s beliefs, as it may upset them. You don’t need to try to ease their pain.
  • Don’t say “I know how it feels” or “everything happens for a reason”. These kind of sayings can be hurtful, even if you don’t mean them to be.
  • Unless you know the family very well, stay away from jokes and humorous stories. It is hard to convey tone in writing and they may misread it as being insulting or uncaring.

Sample condolence messages

Below are two sample condolence messages in order to help you write yours. These messages are not real and all names are made up for the purposes of showing an example. The first one is from a close family friend to a bereaved family with younger children, the second is from an acquaintance who did not know the person who had passed away very well.

Sample 1

“Dear Sam, James and Alice,

I was so shocked and saddened to hear of Eleanor’s passing and all my thoughts are with you. I find it difficult to express how much we shall all miss her.

Ellie was such a bright, confident woman. People use the expression ‘light up the room’ all the time, but she really did bring light and happiness with her everywhere she went. She was one of the most caring and compassionate people I have ever met – and such a sense of humour too!

I remember when I first met Ellie. We sat next to each other at work and became friends instantly. She used to make me laugh like no one else could and always managed to calm me down when I’d had a stressful day.

The funeral was a wonderful tribute to her life. She would have loved the beautiful flower arrangements. If you speak to Anthony, please pass on my thanks for such a beautiful eulogy. I think he really captured Ellie’s spirit and personality.

Please remember that I am always here if you need me to look after James and Alice, I am more than happy to. Just give me a call.

With love and caring thoughts, Elizabeth.”

Sample 2

Please accept my deepest condolences on the loss of your husband, Albert. I know how deeply you loved and admired him; all our thoughts are with you.

Regrettably I did not know Albert very well. We met once or twice at the annual midsummer garden party and he always seemed so cheerful and agreeable. By all accounts he was a kind and generous man and he will be missed by many.

William and I will be coming to the funeral next Wednesday to pay our respects, although unfortunately we will not be able to stay for the wake.

Again, deepest sympathies for your loss. We will keep you in our thoughts and hearts.

by Contributor / in Home

How to create a sympathy card

The best way to write a sympathy card is to be genuine and simply say what you feel -thus, you should send your condolences as soon as you hear the news of the death. The following guidelines are for those who may be at a loss for words during the difficult time following a death.

Use personal stationery and a pen with blue or black ink.

Address the letter to the deceased’s closest relative, such as the widow or eldest child, if you knew the deceased well but did not know the family well. If you did not know the deceased, write to the relative with whom you are acquainted and express your wish to give comfort, even if he or she is not the closest relative.

  • The best way to write a sympathy card is to be genuine and simply say what you feel -thus, you should send your condolences as soon as you hear the news of the death.
  • If you did not know the deceased, write to the relative with whom you are acquainted and express your wish to give comfort, even if he or she is not the closest relative.

Express sympathy for the family and acknowledge their loss: “Please accept my sympathy for the terrible loss of your father.”

Include a personal memory and/or acknowledge the character and accomplishments of the deceased. If you did not know the deceased, you can simply say, “It must have been wonderful to have him (or her) in your life.”

Offer support and assistance in any way needed if you know the person to whom you are writing.

Avoid dwelling on the details of the death. Avoid euphemisms or dramatic conclusions such as “It’s all for the best” or “You have lost your wife,” which may seem to skirt the issue of the death or the suffering of the bereaved.

It can be difficult to know what to write in a sympathy card, as you want to offer words of comfort without accidentally saying something insensitive

How to create a sympathy card

  • 14:11, 15 Mar 2021

Writing a sympathy card can seem a daunting task, we want to reach out and express our condolences but we don’t want to write the wrong thing.

It’s hard to know how to express our sympathy and support through only a few words.

We ponder what to write, trying to think of something comforting to say with our pen hovering over the card, not wanting to get it wrong.

The pressure mounts the longer we think of the right words, the last thing the family want at a time of grief is to receive a card with crossed out scribbles or a jumbled mess of words.

It’s never something we want to write but it’s important that we do.

When the time comes that you need to sit down and write a sympathy card, we’ve put together some thoughtful messages to help you express the right words.

Thoughtful messages to write

  • Sending you lots of love and comfort, we are so sorry for your loss
  • My thoughts are with you and your family during this difficult time
  • May you find comfort in knowing you are not alone, you are surrounded by those who care for you
  • I’m deeply sorry your family is experiencing the pain of a loss like this. My heart goes out to each of you
  • Words can’t express the loss of (name). Know that I’m here for you and your family in these difficult times when you need anything
  • I can’t express how much (name) meant to me over the years. (Name) always brought so much light into the lives of those around him/her. My condolences to you and your wonderful family
  • Please know I am here to listen, comfort, and lean on during this difficult time
  • May all of your happy memories give you peace and comfort during this challenging time
  • Our hearts are saddened to learn of your loss, please know we are here for you
  • We were surprised and saddened to hear about (name) passing. We’re going to miss (name) so much
  • Sending hugs and best wishes during this difficult time
  • Wishing you peace to bring comfort, courage to face the days ahead and loving memories to forever hold in your hearts
  • What an amazing person and what a remarkable life. I feel so lucky that I got to know (name)
  • I’ll remember (name) in many positive ways, with a big smile and a great sense of humour
  • Thinking of you all as you celebrate (name) remarkable life

When writing a sympathy card there are a few words or phrases that are good to avoid.

Wanting to bring comfort, support and sympathy, we must also be careful that the card does not minimise their loss or make them feel worse.

Sign up to our newsletter to get the day’s biggest news straight to your inbox

The Mirror’s newsletter brings you the latest news, exciting showbiz and TV stories, sport updates and essential political information.

The newsletter is emailed out first thing every morning, at 12noon and every evening.

Never miss a moment by signing up to our newsletter here.

Such things as “what a terrible loss”, dwells on the lost and heartache they are already feeling, you want to try and bring comfort to them.

“He/She was so young”, this could become a painful reminder for them, instead share memories of the life they had and the enjoyment they brought into your life.

It is best to avoid talking about your own experiences with grief such as, “I know how you feel” everyone experiences and processes grief differently.

Telling them that the person “is in a better place now” is never comforting to hear for someone you’ve lost, they’re grieving for the life they had, share special stories with them instead.

Think about the person before you write the card, the relationship you had with them, what they brought into your life and how you might would like to share this with others.

It can bring happiness and comfort to families or friends who have lost someone, hearing about special memories you made with them or who they were as a person.

Be yourself when writing the card, use the above suggestions to help, personalise these to the person and they’ll help you express the right words offering your condolences.

How to create a sympathy card

Writing a Sympathy Card for a Suicide

Knowing what to write to someone who lost a loved one due to suicide is very difficult. On the one hand, you want to express your unconditional love and support to someone who is going through one of the worst experiences of their life. On the other, you do not want to touch too close to a subject (suicide) that is causing a lot of pain right now.

Striking that balance between tact and support can be hard, but it is not impossible. By writing from the heart and sticking to a few careful guidelines, you can write a suicide sympathy note that conveys everything you want to say.

  • Mention the Deceased by Name: Do not be afraid to use the deceased’s name or to say things directly related to his/her life. (Example: “I’m so sorry to hear of Michael’s death. I never knew anyone with a smile as brilliant as his.”)
  • Include a Happy Memory: Happy memories are going to be difficult to conjure up for a long time after a loss by suicide, so anything you can say to spark these positive moments is helpful. (Example: “I still remember that time Susan climbed the tree in my backyard in under ten seconds flat. She always had such an adventurous spirit.”)
  • Do Not Mention the Death: Yes, death is the reason for sending a sympathy card, and no, you cannot ignore it, but you can still show tact about how the loss happened. Do not refer to the suicide directly or ask invasive questions. (Example: “We’re holding Paul in our minds and in our hearts. The pain of your loss is felt by us all.”)
  • Be Yourself: Many people do not know what to say or how to act when a suicide occurs. While this is a perfectly natural response, it is not going to be helpful for the immediate family. Be yourself and act as normal as you can. (Example: “You know I’m always here if you need to chat or want to get away for a few hours. Coffee is only a phone call away, let’s connect next week.”)
  • Avoid Religious/Spiritual References: Religious teachings on suicide are, in many cases, very explicit. Even if you feel strongly about suicide or share the family’s views on suicide, do not bring them up. Chances are that the family is shifting their view as they struggle to reconcile their past beliefs with their new reality. (Example: “May you be granted the strength you need in the coming days. Harriet was a precious daughter and a beautiful human being, and we will miss her.”)

If you simply cannot think of anything to say, a pre-printed sympathy card that you sign will also work in this situation. It is better to say too little than to say something that will cause deeper pain.

How to create a sympathy card

The cruelty of the global pandemic seems limitless. So many broken promises, broken connections, broken hearts.

News that the sympathy card sections at the drug store are as bare as the toilet paper aisle at the supermarket might seem like a small detail in the current landscape. But it is a loss layered upon the greatest loss, under the shadow of the virus.

Today, the inner circle of bereaved — children, parents, spouses, siblings — are very much alone in the aftermath of a death. They mourn without the friends, co-workers, and cousins who would have come to lighten the burden of grief — which is a real thing: the weight on the chest, the difficulty of moving. Funerals, wakes, visiting hours and shivas take place in empty rooms.

In the good old days, which is now defined as any time before March 2020, the most important thing you could do after a death was show up. You hugged and maybe held on for a few extra moments that spoke volumes of care. (Remember long hugs?) Sometimes, when there was a big crowd and you didn’t get a chance to hug or speak, eye contact alone made the commitment tangible, words were unnecessary.

Sending a card has always been a way of showing up — and it has the added benefit of maintaining a safe distance.

Recently, a friend described her elderly mother’s graveside funeral, attended by her three children and their spouses, a priest and pallbearers from the funeral home. Her death was not COVID-related, but she was ill, and my friend wondered if the thought of long days and nights without company had something to do with her dying. The virus changes everything.

So, we do what we can: we send emails or e-cards, sign the virtual guest book posted by the funeral home, Skype, FaceTime or Zoom. No snark, please; it’s a blessing.

My husband was with his mother when she died years ago, in Florida. To this day, he gets teary remembering the comfort of the many messages of sympathy posted on his Facebook page.

He also treasured the notes and cards that came through the United States Postal Service, which — as of today — still exists.

Sending a card has always been a way of showing up — and it has the added benefit of maintaining a safe distance.

How to create a sympathy card(Flickr)

But with the number of COVID-19 deaths continuing to climb, sympathy cards are as scarce as two-ply toilet paper.

Of course, a message of sympathy can just as easily be sent inside any card. Flowers or birds on the cover are soothing; impressionist paintings and Japanese landscapes are also nice. You don’t need a card at all. For centuries, people wrote messages of condolence on plain paper, also known as stationary.

The loss of sympathy cards is a problem. Confronted with the blank page most of us are at a loss.

“I don’t know what to say.”

Nobody has the right words. It’s not a time for eloquence.

It’s simple. Begin with:

“I am so sorry for your loss.”

Write a line or two about the person who died:

“I’ve been looking at pictures of us.”

“I will always remember how she beamed at your wedding.”

“Reading about him made me wish I’d gotten to know him.”

Express a hope for the future:

“I look forward to the day we can be together.”

More than anything, it’s the thought that counts.

Close with something like:

“You are in my thoughts.”

“You are in our hearts/prayers”

“With sympathy and love.”

This is also showing up: the envelope, the stamp, the handwriting that is yours alone, the care and time it took. More than anything, it’s the thought that counts.

Then, send another note after what will be a long, painful, lonely month. Just a postcard is fine.

It’s a little thing. But now, the least we can do is probably the most.

Anita Diamant is the author of “Saying Kaddish: How to Comfort the Dying, Bury the Dead, and Mourn as a Jew.”


  • Kim Triedman: ‘So Much Grief’: What The Virus Has Taken From My Family
  • Rebecca Steinitz: When The Time Comes: Tips For How To Visit The Dying
  • Steve Almond: Why Can’t I Offer Condolences?

How to create a sympathy card

Cognoscenti contributor
A Boston-based journalist and author, Anita Diamant has written 13 books, including the bestselling novel, “The Red Tent,” which has been published in 25 countries and 20 languages.

A condolence note may be one of the hardest messages you’ll ever have to write. Here’s some advice on how to express sympathy, whether online or off.

How to create a sympathy card

How to create a sympathy card

Michelle Starr is CNET’s science editor, and she hopes to get you as enthralled with the wonders of the universe as she is. When she’s not daydreaming about flying through space, she’s daydreaming about bats.

How to create a sympathy card

Shooting off an email or a comment on social media is commonplace today so expressing your condolences digitally might be your instinct.

That may be the appropriate way to respond if the news of someone’s passing is shared online. Similarly, if you’re not a relative or close friend, a quick expression of sympathy via email or Facebook may be comforting.

In many cases, however, you should go a step further and write a condolence note. It might seem quaint, even old fashioned, but a handwritten message of sympathy to the bereaved is the surest way you can acknowledge the gravity of someone’s death. It will also be one of the hardest notes you’ll ever write.

“Your decision to handwrite that note and physically send it starts to communicate the weight or the seriousness that you want it to be received with,” says Daniel Senning, etiquette expert and spokesperson at the Emily Post Institute. The Institute’s website has comprehensive advice on both bereavement and condolence notes.

Plenty of other websites offer suggestions on how to write the most meaningful condolence notes. Here are five of their most important tips.

1. Choosing the proper stationery

The first thing you’re going to do is choose suitable stationery or an appropriate card, says Legacy Connect. Plain cards or stationery with floral motifs are a safe bet. Humorous cards probably aren’t going to work. Tuck the cartoons away. You wouldn’t tweet a skull-and-crossbones emoji to express your sympathy, would you?

2. How to address the card

Who you address the note to depends on who you knew. If you knew the deceased, but not his or her family, you should address it to the spouse or closest living relative, notes Obituaries Help. If you knew one of the deceased’s relatives but not the deceased, address the note to that relative.

Emily Post’s Senning says that if you don’t know the bereaved’s address — a common issue among internet communities — you should discreetly inquire about a mailing address. If you need to, reach out to the family or close friends directly, expressing your intention to send a sympathy note.

Click here for “Logging Out,” a look at death in the digital age.

3. Writing from the heart

Say what you feel, advises the Emily Post Institute. After all, what you’re trying to express should come from the heart.

Start the note with a sincere expression of sympathy, recommends Funeral Zone. If you have fond memories of the deceased, add a loving, personal remembrance.

If you didn’t know the person well, you might offer to help the family during their period of mourning, suggests Help Guide. It’s useful to be specific — think babysitting or dog walking — when offering assistance. People in grief don’t want to think about delegating tasks; being specific means they won’t have to.

Another option the handwritten note opens is the ability to include a sympathy gift. Food and flowers are traditional, but gift cards and gift certificates are increasingly common.

Online bereavement website Heart2Soul offers some brief sample scripts and tips. Another resource for writing condolence notes is Quick Condolence, which offers religious and secular approaches to crafting notes.

4. Offering your sympathies online

Sometimes, it’s appropriate to express your sorrow on the web or by email. Usually, that’s when you weren’t a close friend of the deceased or the family.

In those cases, most of the same rules apply, says Obituaries Help. Make sure to mention the deceased by name and express sincere sympathy. Don’t just dash off a line or two because the medium is less formal. Always make sure to fill in the subject line. also includes some sample scripts you can use for inspiration. has some very useful advice specific to responding on Facebook. Think carefully before you post and go slow so that you don’t make typos. The website also suggests you respond to photos posted by the bereaved by sharing memories of the deceased.

5. What to avoid

Some topics aren’t appropriate, either in a note or online.

Bereavement resource What’s Your Grief advises avoiding anything that suggests someone’s death was “for the best.” Similarly, stay away from saying the deceased is “in a better place.”

Don’t imply a death was part a divine plan and exclude religious references unless you know they’ll be welcome, suggests Heart2Soul. And don’t compare someone else’s bereavement with a loss of your own.

If the etiquette of condolence seems elaborate, know it’s for a good reason, says Sarah Chavez, executive director at The Order of the Good Death. The organisation focuses on demystifying and destigmatising both death and mourning.

“We need to be death- and grief-literate so that we can help each other and be the best people, best friends, best significant others, best whatever, that we can be for each other,” she says.

CNET Magazine: Check out a sampling of the stories you’ll find in CNET’s newsstand edition.

Technically Literate: Original works of short fiction with unique perspectives on tech, exclusively on CNET.

If you’ve lost someone close to you, or are attending the funeral of someone you know, you may be thinking about sending a sympathy card or flowers. Writing an appropriate and heartfelt funeral card message is important and will help you to show your support.

Even if you didn’t know the person well, you may want to express your condolences. This guide provides examples of funeral flower and sympathy card messages, helping you carefully choose words which help to remember a loved one that has passed away and provide comfort to those who are grieving.

What to write in a sympathy card

When someone passes away, you may want to write a sympathy card message for their family. This will show that you care, and that the person who has passed is in your thoughts. Whether you want to express your own feelings, share a fond memory or simply offer your support, knowing what to write on a funeral card isn’t always an easy task.

Even if you prefer to keep your funeral messages quite short, it will still come across as a warm and heartfelt gesture. We have listed some examples below to help you write your own sympathy card.

  • We are so sorry for your loss
  • Our family is keeping your family in our thoughts and prayers
  • Thinking of you in these difficult times
  • Our hearts go out to you and your family
  • We want you to know that we are here for you if you need anything
  • With heartfelt condolences
  • Wishing you as much peace as possible during this difficult time
  • Words cannot even begin to express our sorrow
  • With deepest sympathy as you remember [name]
  • Holding you close in my thoughts and hoping you are doing okay

What to write on funeral flowers

If you find yourself a little stuck for what to write on funeral flowers, don’t be afraid to keep it simple. Some of the best funeral flower messages are short and from the heart.

We have compiled a list of funeral flower message examples below which should give you some inspiration. Whatever you decide to write, the most important thing is that you have shown that you care.

Short funeral flower messages

  • Gone but never forgotten
  • You will be sorely missed
  • Our thoughts go out to you
  • In loving memory
  • Rest in peace
  • Always in my heart
  • Treasured memories
  • Forever in our thoughts
  • May you rest in peace
  • With love and fond memories
  • Sorry for your loss
  • With deepest sympathy

Longer funeral flower messages

  • Although we are far away, we will hold you close in our thoughts and in our hearts today and always
  • You will be missed but never forgotten. You have captured a place in our hearts. Rest in peace
  • May the peace which comes from the memories of love shared comfort you now and in the days ahead
  • You brought joy, happiness and laughter to all who met you. You will be deeply missed by everyone
  • When a person becomes a memory, the memory becomes a treasure
  • Many friends come into our lives but only a few leave with their footprints on our hearts
  • For the joy you gave and the precious memories which you left behind for me to cherish; take with you all my love

Religious funeral flower messages

  • Goodnight and God bless
  • You are in our thoughts and prayers
  • May you rest in peace in God’s heaven
  • In God’s arms may you gently rest
  • Wherever you are, God is
  • May the Lord bless you and keep you in His care
  • You changed my life in countless ways. Thank you for everything

What to write on funeral flowers for dad or mum

  • Mum/Dad, you gave me the best life. Rest peacefully
  • You were the best mum/dad anyone could wish for. I love you and I miss you
  • Love you mum/dad
  • For a wonderful mum/dad, thank you for your endless love and kindness

What to write on funeral flowers for a sister or brother

  • You were my strength in good times and bad. Thank you for everything
  • Brother/Sister, you are loved dearly
  • You were my best friend. I will miss you everyday
  • Time and time again, you showed me how to live. Love you so much.

Popular verses for funeral flowers

  • My friend you are a leaving. It’s time for you to go. Your friendship was a blessing and I will miss you so
  • Death may leave a heartache no one can heal but love leaves a memory that no one can steal
  • To me you were so special. Someone good and true. Never will I forget you; I thought the world of you
  • Time may pass and fade away but memories of you will always stay
  • Our hearts are filled with sadness and tears, but our memories are filled with smiles and laughter of the good times we shared over the years
  • Dear is your memory, sweet is your name. Close to my heart, you will always remain

Religious verses for funeral flowers

  • God took you in his loving arms, He saw you needed rest. His garden must be beautiful, for He only takes the best
  • In God’s care you rest above, in our hearts you rest with love
  • God will link the broken chain, as one by one we meet again. In our hearts he will always stay, loved and remembered every day
  • Ours is just a simple prayer, God bless and keep you in His care

Things to avoid when writing bereavement messages

There are many things you will want to avoid when writing funeral card messages. Whilst everyone feels different when they lose a loved one, it’s important that you don’t write anything that may upset or anger friends or family of the deceased.

When it comes to writing funeral messages, avoid phrases such as:

  • It’s for the best
  • I understand how you’re feeling
  • They lived a full life
  • Everything happens for a reason
  • They are in a better place now
  • You will see them again some day